Minimalist Video Games Worth to Be In AAA Category

Maisie Wharton


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Minimalism in games is not always about the limitation of resources, poor graphics, and dull design. If you look at it on the bright side, you will see a classy style that impresses. It is a trend that is followed even if financing allows them to complicate things. Here simplicity becomes the key idea giving zest to a gaming process. Do not confuse minimalism with low quality that requires updates: extremely simple gameplay, for example, pixel or voxel art, primitive musical soundtrack. Sometimes, a developer has to apply one of the above methods or all of them to do everything they are able to do with a small budget. Still, it’s not a key concept of minimalism. The trend is a conscious choice of a developer to put constraints on its design process, refusing the excess of details and variations. Such an approach definitely falls under the category.


One of the brightest samples of a minimalist video game is Limbo that goes without colors and diverse scenery. And still, this title is very popular and widely discussed. The design is made in black and white creating a particular ominous atmosphere underlining abnormality of a place you occur to be. Travel through a mysterious forest in the darkness looking for your sister. That’s it. But the game is able to take your breath away being very atmospheric.


Another monochrome product is Cypher which can be regarded as the most accurate pattern of minimalism. Being a puzzle game, it suggests you immerse yourself in cryptography. Do not expect complicated gameplay, but the challenges are rather smart here. You will be guided through a strange museum without any colors inside. Be ready to enjoy only two hues. The overall impression will be supported with a classical soundtrack you will hear while solving the tasks. This minimalist design is not only to incarnate a minimalism vision in a game, but also to provide conditions when you are not distracted from puzzles. This title is characterized by plain locations and large open areas without objects.

Path to Mnemosyne

If you are fond of black and white, this style is definitely for you. Another example is Path to Mnemosyne where you will rarely meet pops of green and blue. Here the principle character is a girl immersing into her mind trying to forget her memories. She wants to find peace, and you are expected to help her. This is a complicated optical illusion where you are suggested to wander. There are some direction-indicating elements like skeletal arms showing a path to the brain. Still, the game is pretty static and not about action. Minimalist art allows making incredible visuals even without much hues and details. 

Mirror’s Edge

At last, the colored game! This title is full of skyscrapers, rooftops, and various high constructions which will make you giddy even if you do not suffer from vertigo. In order to reach the target place, you are suggested to choose among available ways and routes in the city. Watch out not to go around in circles! There is an option allowing you to mark paths using a red hue. Though most objects are white with some particular pop of color. If you want, you can continue your playing experience with the next release known as Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, where you will find more details of the city. Sometimes it is really enough to jump across roofs without any special achievements and unusual design of the environment.

Thomas Was Alone

This abstract game is based on simple lines that form that special minimalist environment. You will admire a perfect piece of modern art with an unusual design and involving story. You will have to think a lot while playing this game even after it is over. It suggests a rather exciting narrative and smart gameplay with challenges. You can compare it with Limbo, the first item on this list, but with a completely opposite concept. It is beautiful in its utmost minimalism.

Bad North

This is a strategy game with a simple design and very simple graphics. You will not find detailed locations here — only an island that should be protected by tiny warriors from Viking invaders. There are small simple buildings and rarely trees — that is all for the environment. Though the gameplay here is rather complicated.

Minimalism is a virtue

All the above gems are worth your attention. Try them and enjoy the peculiarities of a minimalist style. Tell us if you like this idea.